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view threaten u.s. interests in africa and require the attention of the government and the world. that's why we convened the hearing to assess and a path forward and stabilize the situation and to address ongoing humanitarian needs. i would like to welcome my friend and partner on the subcommittee senator ikesson and i understand we may well be joined by others and to thank our distinguished witnesses for sharing their insight and expertise. earlier this year, a security and political vacuum was exploited by extremists. today al qaeda and aqim and two affiliated groups control the majority of northern malli an area roughly the size of the state of texas making it the largest territory controlled by islamist extremists in the world. i am concerned the current approach is not comprehensive and forward leaning enough to address all threeze crises, security and plit and humanitarian. today we'll examine the policies. we'll assess evolving plans for a regionly led multilateral intervention and consider the complimentry goals of encouraging elections and restoring security by reclaiming the
think it was on friday -- in which unnamed u.s. officials were suggesting that morsi might have learned from the last couple of weeks that winner take all is not the way to go and that he needs to reach out to his political opponents. do you think that the brotherhood understands this referendum as in part a referendum on the way it's running politics in egypt? >> to some extent yes, but i think there's a bigger problem here. the brotherhood is in full existential mode. they're extremely paranoid. they believe that opposition is out to destroy them. they think liberals are anti- democratic and are out to bring down who they view to be elected and legitimately elected president. so they're very much in that mode of thinking. and that's why essentially one of their justifications for the authoritarian november 22 decree is -- and brotherhood leaders actually told me this -- is yes, we know it looks bad, we know it's kind of anti- democratic, but the normal rules of politics are suspended until future notice because we are in this fundamental turning point, and this is what we have to do.
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